This photo is typical of pedestrians in Tamarindo -- surfers walking through town on their way to the beach. Surfers often stay at less expensive places that are a couple of blocks from the beach, so it is common to see them strolling through town with their boards.
Tamarindo is a mixture of older places that cater to young people on a budget who are enjoying the surfing lifestyle, and both medium priced and upscale hotels, condos, and guest houses that cater to vacationing couples and families.
Some surfing hostels have accommodations for as little as $10 per night, and of course in resorts and condos the accommodations can be 20 to 30 times that amount, or more. In fact, a new, luxurious J.W. Marriott Guanacaste Resort has been built just south of Tamarindo. You can buy a condo in Tamarindo for less than $100,000 or for more that $1 million USD.
My wife and I enjoy the mixture and diversity in the community. One of our condos is on the beach in Playa Langosta, which is an upscale residential area, and our other condo is on the grounds of the Tamarindo Diria Resort, right in the heart of town and the middle of Tamarindo Beach. Some foreigners prefer to have their condos or houses located in gated, master planned developments outside of town, and those are lovely, but we like being where we can walk to lunch and dinner and feel more a part of the community.
Some people ask me about security. Both of our condos have have full time guards and gates, which provides peace of mind because we are not there all the time, and it is also a reassurance for the visitors who rent our condos when we are gone. We have never felt unsafe while walking around town. Costa Ricans are a warm and friendly people, and tourism is the number one industry in the country. Like any place else in the world, if you are careless or leave stuff in an unlocked car, someone might succumb to temptation. We don't hang out in dark alleys at 3:00 a.m., but otherwise we feel very safe in Tamarindo. And as you saw in Saturday's photo, some people feel safe in leaving bicycles and surfboards unattended in the middle of town.